Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category

West Coast Ports Shutdown

12 December 2011

OAKLAND, California — On Monday, in coordination with numerous other West Coast “occupy” groups, Occupy Oakland has blockaded the port of Oakland in an attempt to halt the flow of goods which serve to further enrich the capitalist class. These synchronized actions involve blockades in Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego and solidarity protests in Hawaii, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, New York, Houston and beyond; and though the event has not been endorsed by the ILWU, it was planned in solidarity with rank-and-file dock workers struggling against grain exporter EGT, which has been trying to undermine union contracts.

Early morning, before dawn, the port of Oakland was effectively blockaded by 1300-1500 demonstrators. There are around 300 protestors at each of the half-dozen Berth entry-points. The numbers continue to swell as protestors march from the West Oakland BART station. Read below for updates.

Read more:

LOS ANGELES, California — Despite uncharacteristically poor weather two brutal arrests, a rally of approximately 300-400 occupiers has shut down parts of the Port of Long Beach, which is the largest Port of entry in the United States. LBPD has announced that the demonstration is an unlawful assembly and is attempting to corral the crowd back into a near-by park (ironic, given the resources spent recently getting occupiers out of parks).

As of around 10am, demonstrators were forced to leave the intersections blocking the ports.

SAN DIEGO, California — Similar to the #OccupyLA port shut down, demonstrators blocked a terminal beginning around 6am with small crowds of approximately 150 at two intersections, a north and south gate. Police dispersed demonstrators at the south gate around 9:45am, arresting at least 4. As of 11:30am demonstrators are still rallying at the north gate, however trucks are able to get in and out of the port terminal. As of around 4pm they’ve regrouped at Chicano Park to plan for further direct actions.

Read more:

PORTLAND, Oregon — Demonstrators have been effective in shutting down two terminals of the Port of Portland, with about 400 protestors at each gate. Police are reported to be targeting specific individuals and preparing to disperse the blockade with riot gear. Later, in the evening a third terminal was also shutdown.

Read more:

BELLINGHAM, Washington — A hundred or so demonstrators have blocked commercial railroad tracks since noon; some have u-locked their necks together to prevent them from being moved. Beginning around 3pm, the demonstrators with u-locks were being arrested. Watch it live.

Around 5pm the last of the demonstrators were cleared from tracks.

Read more:

LONGVIEW, Washington — Work was cancelled today for longshoreman at the Longview port, so a small rally was held in solidarity with the west coast port shutdown.

SEATTLE, Washington — Hundreds gathered in Westlake Park around 1:30pm. As of 2:30pm, they’ve begun to march to the Port of Seattle. By around 3:15pm, a growing crowd has reached the port. Watch it live. Police are in riot gear and appear to have pepper spray and rubber bullets ready.

Read more:

Barricades erected at Port of Seattle

VANCOUVER, Canada — A few dozen attempted to block ports early in the morning on Monday, resulting in a disruption for about an hour. A rally held midday gathered more demonstrators who marched over to the port, but the police presence prevented a blockade. 5 were arrested in police confrontations.

See more:

HOUSTON, Texas — Protesters who have chained themselves together face-down on the ground, to block trucks from entering the port there have been contained and detained by police in a large inflatable tent, presumably as part of an attempt to remove and arrest them. Rumors that the tent was to be used for administering a gas of some sort appear to be mistaken; the tanks were for inflating the tent.

DENVER, Colorado — In solidarity, a handful of demonstrators from #OccupyDenver gathered in front of a Walmart distribution center in Loveland, Colorado. 13 arrests were made after demonstrators began to block a truck entering the distribution center. The demonstration ended around 5pm.

Related:

Updates:

10:06AM: Arbitrators give the official word that the Oakland port is shut down.

11:04AM: Day-shift canceled in Portland.

1pm – A few berths are open at Oakland now due to dwindling numbers blocking the port, a few scabs, and police presence. However organizers are urging people to go to the 3pm rally at Oscar Grant Plaza and march at 4pm. Alternatively, there is a march at 5pm from West Oakland BART station. Organizers are saying the 1300-1500 folks that came at 5am this morning to shut down the port were successful in shutting down the berths with ships. These ships were unable to load cargo. Around 3 were arrested at one of the berths. Live at the port. Live at Oscar Grant Plaza.

1:30pm – Port blockers in Oakland are asking for donations of food, water, usb-powered back up batteries, and beer.

3:25pm – One of the entrances to the Port of Seattle is shut down.

4:10pm – Oakland begins to march on port. The march from OGP to the port takes a little over an hour, watch it live.

5:00pm – Oakland arrives at port. In Seattle police begin to attack port blockers as they try to remove makeshift barricades. Tear gas, flashbangs, and pepper spray have reportedly been deployed by police. At least one demonstrator was trampled by a police officer on a horse.

5:20pm – Ports have called off work for the evening shift in Oakland.

5:50pm – Seattle port blockers still holding it down at Terminal 18, Terminal 5. While trucks and other traffic is open, no workers appear to be in Terminal 18; however Terminal 5 appears to still be working. Around 8-9 were arrested in the earlier scuffle including 2 marked medics.

6:05pm – Police appear to be staging to clear the Seattle port blockers.

6:40pm – Police appear to now be leaving the port in Seattle – seemingly corroborated by a reporter from the mainstream media.

8pm – Oakland Commune decided at their General Assembly moments ago to continue the port shutdown into tomorrow in response to police brutality at many of the other shutdown locations.

Tuesday, 13 December

2am – While demonstrators have been holding down the port of Oakland all day and all evening, they’ve begun to picket again in preparation for the next shift of workers. They need around 100 people at all of the berths of the port of Oakland.

3:45am – Port workers are being sent home. Arbitration – the process by which solidarity strike clauses and safety issues are resolved to satisfy legal requirements for workers to be sent home – is not needed, as bosses told workers the shift is cancelled. People are discussing to end the port shutdown extension now after 24hrs. Supportive ILWU rank and file members spoke to blockers and asked them to end the shutdown to continue to stand in solidarity with longshoreman’s interests. Port blockers calling it a victory and have voted to go home.

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#OccupySF Justin Herman Plaza Raided

7 December 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – The #OccupySF encampments began along with #OccupyWallStreet in September. Since then they’ve had to relocate, they’ve expanded to hold multiple encampments, and they’ve been raided multiple times. Justin Herman Plaza is the largest encampment, and it was raided and cleared early this morning, 7 December, around 2am. Police woke occupiers up and gave them a 5 minute warning to disperse. Police proceeded to clear the park, arresting 70 people through the course of the evening. None of the occupiers’ property was merely confiscated, but rather thrown into dump trucks and crushed. In response, there will be a noon rally at the 101 market encampment and 6pm rally at Justin Herman Plaza today, 7 December.

Read more:

Related news:

  • #OccupySantaCruz [partially] disassembles encampment in response to an eviction notice today, 7 December. Police raid the next morning arresting 6 people. Read more.

SF Market St Occupied

20 November 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – In response to this morning’s raid on #OccupySF, demonstrators called for a rally this afternoon. Since 4pm, demonstrators have been at 101 Market st. discussing the raid. After some tense police confrontations and at least one arrest, a standoff between police and demonstrators took hold in the street. Police shut down traffic to the street and demonstrators began setting up tents starting around 5pm. As of 10:45pm, there are 7 tents up and hundred or more demonstrators. Demonstrators are cooperating with MUNI to allow public transport to continue. At midnight, tents were moved back to the plaza; one demonstrator remained and was arrested.

Related:

  • The 19th and telegraph Oakland occupation was also raided this morning, but was completely cleared unlike the occupation at 101 Market in SF.

#OccupySF & Edu March Take Over BofA Branch

16 November 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the financial district of San Francisco on Wednesday beginning at Justin Herman Plaza, one of the main encampments of #OccupySF. The march eventually lead to a Bank of America branch at California and Davis st. where demonstrators have taken over the lobby. Some demonstrators set up tents in the lobby.

Updates:

2:40pm – the police have given them a dispersal warning.

2:45pm – police are arresting people on the outside of the BofA building.

2:48pm – 100+ folks on the outside are sitting down. Police are standing between those in the lobby and those on the outside.

2:59pm – Demonstrators are attempting to blockade the road to disable police from arresting folks inside BofA and taking them to jail. No one has been taken out of the main entrance yet.

3:06pm – Video: 1.

3:12pm – Marchers leaving BofA for the state building. [Around 95] demonstrators stayed in BofA, and a few dozen or more are outside the bank still.

3:52pm – Police are now arresting people inside the BofA lobby.

4:13pm – Still, slowly arresting people.

4:44pm – Some BofA arrestees are being loaded onto buses now. The marchers arrived at their destination (state building) around an hour ago; now, they’re just standing around in front of it.

5:42pm – So far 66 BofA demonstrators have been arrested. Less than 10 to go.

6:02pm – Correction, less than 10 were outside of a tent, but the tent erected inside BofA still has 10 or so people inside.

6:56pm – Around 95 demonstrators were arrested in BofA. Some are being released now with citations. Also, demonstrators attempted to sell an occupied tent on ebay from inside BofA.

Related News:

  • Around a 100 students held a sit-in at SF State University on Tuesday.

Night of Barricades

6 October 2011

from BayofRage:

On the night of October 6th San Francisco Police attacked the Occupy SF encampment at the Federal Building on Market and Drum. After a day in which 800 people marched through downtown San Francisco in solidarity with the occupation of Wall Street in New York and elsewhere around the country, hundreds gathered at the site of the occupation. However by evening the police had administered an eviction notice to the occupiers claiming that the police would move in at midnight alongside the Department of Public Works to clear the plaza. Roughly around 10pm the police began to gather a block away from the occupation. Word circulated quickly and as both the occupiers and the police prepared roughly 150 people assembled at the occupation. After a few hours of waiting, debate, and nervous conversations within the occupation the police finally made their first move. Marching down the street, adorned with helmets and batons, the police escorted a line of Department of Public Works Vehicles. Standing between the occupiers and the living spaces that had been created since the occupations’ beginning, Department of Public Works workers were then forced to begin eradicating the space of any materials related to the occupation. The trucks were quickly filled with the same rapidity as the mood in the air began to intensify.

Almost spontaneously a large wooden pallet that the vehicles had not yet managed to collect was brought in front of one of the trucks. Immediately others began to follow bringing bodies and all material left behind in the encampment and surrounded the police and Department of Public Works vehicles. People grabbed anything they could find – garbage cans, street signs, cones and even the police’s own metal barricades to prevent the trucks from leaving as well as corner the police. While the police had tried to encircle and intimidate the occupation those there quickly used the opportunity to encircle and intimidate the police. As the SFPD closed in on the trucks standing off with what was now hundreds of people on market street and beautifully constructed barricades, they began to make way for the vehicles to leave. This created a series of small scuffles. Eventually the vehicles left and the barricades stood proudly on market street between the starry twilight of 230am and the confused fright of the SFPD.

The night was an incredibly powerful reflection of not only what is possible but  the emergent potential of the Occupy movement. After the police announced that the occupation was going to be raided the occupiers began to decide what to do. The conversation was disparate, timid and unstable. This was directly caused by a few dominant voices controlling a decision making process in a situation that needed immediate attention. As the police came in this timidity, instability and disparity disappeared as all collectively participated in activity that reflected the needs of the immediate situation. No longer was the conversation dominated, but all voices flourished in the streets. People also held together and refused to be the targets of police violence. Instead people collectively resisted the attacks by the police by directly interfering with their ability to function as police by constructing barricades. Their antagonism towards the police was a direct reflection of the immediate goal of responding to a police raid. This act of self-defense was also an offensive direct action and strengthened both the solidarity amongst the participants and the potential for antagonistic expansion.

If these occupations are to both survive and continue they must be protected from the police by any means necessary.

Read the Statement from Occupy SF regarding the attempted police eviction last night

As the barricades multiply almost everywhere, though within a limited perimeter, the security forces receive reinforcements from units that had until then been positioned outside the Latin Quarter and close down the area, which with each passing minute takes on an insurrectional air. – Le Monde, May 12-13, 1968

opBART3

30 August 2011

Every monday.

BART is delayed; Several Dozen Arrested

22 August 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – On Monday, August 22nd, the second iteration of the Anonymous incited demonstrations began at the Civic Center BART station.

“As a few protesters began to gather, surrounded by dozens of riot police and media, a uniformed BART police officer told a young African American man he would be arrested if he raised his voice. Chanting began in response among the small pack of protesters, and the man was promptly arrested by BART police.

As he was being led off the platform by police, a woman who stood in the center of the platform began verbally engaging a BART officer, saying, “BART police need to be reformed. Make BART Safe. Make BART safe.” She was apparently arrested for nothing more then her words.” (read more)

The demonstration ended with 45 arrests and after two stations closed for several hours.

Anonymous targets BART

15 August 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Last week on Thursday, BART shut down cell phone access at their stations in San Francisco to deter social networking during a protest they expected to happen in response to the recent police killing of Charles Hill. The protest never materialized, never-the-less cellphone access was turned off. In response, folks from anonymous declared a campaign against the BART, #opBART, over the breach in civil liberties reminiscent of the Egyptian state’s termination of internet access during the uprisings in January. Since then, anonymous has hacked the myBART website, releasing this message and list of user accounts.

They also called for a demonstration for today, Monday, August 15th. The demo combined a criticism of the BART police and its recent police killings, alongside the cellphone shutdown. The demonstrators successfully shuttered four BART stations along Market st. for several hours and kept up chants of, “no justice, no peace. Disband the BART police!”, and “Cops! Pigs! Murderers!” Some also donned anonymous’ trademark ‘Guy Fawkes’ masks and chanted, “we do not forgive. We do not forget.”

See more on Indybay. Read the flyer here.

One flyer distributed during the demo.

Free Fly Benzo

24 July 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California — In the wake of the 2 recent police shootings — one by the BART police, killing Charles Hill, who was intoxicated and shot moments after police arrived, and the second by the SFPD killing Kenneth Harding, for what many witnesses corroborate as Harding evading a public transit fare — a flurry of protests and actions have erupted resulting in dozens of arrests. Among these, one community member and organizer, Fly Benzo, was arrested at his home by the police a few days ago. He is being held right now on $43,000 bail, and has been charged with some misdemeanors and felonies. His arraignment is being held today, most likely during the afternoon. Supporters should stay updated here, and turn out to pack the courtroom today!

UPDATE: It appears the DA has dropped his charges, and that he will be released today (Tuesday).

TIME: Monday – July 25

The arraignment looks to begin in the afternoon, but folks will be demonstrating starting at 8:30am.

UPDATE: It appears that he will be arraigned on Thursday, July 28th, instead.

LOCATION: San Francisco Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant Street

Demonstration Over Bayview Shooting Results in Arrests

20 July 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – On Saturday July 16th, Police shot and killed Kenneth Harding at a MUNI station in Bayview. Police claim Harding was carrying a gun and shot at the police, forcing them to shoot Harding. While several witnesses claim that Police chased Harding for fare evasion and that Harding was not firing a gun. Police claim that they discovered Harding’s gun at a parolee’s home and gun powder residue on Harding’s hand. However, skepticism over SFPD’s claims that contradict witness accounts has lead to several protests already.

On Tuesday evening demonstrators gathered in Dolores Park together to denounce the second police shooting of a public transit passenger this month. Around 150-200 protesters marched from Dolores Park, through the Mission district and down to Market street. Along the way, demonstrators smashed a bank’s window, and threw a hammer at a police station. Smoke bombs and paint balls were also released. As the marchers approached the cable car turnaround off of Market, a few dozen were kettled, or immobilized by police, including a journalist. Another journalist was allegedly attacked by either a demonstrator or a police officer, resulting in damage to the journalist’s camera. One demonstrator was struck by a police motorcycle and subsequently arrested. A total of 35 were arrested by the end of the demonstration. (See photos on Indybay)

Read some of the literature being passed out during the demo.

Update:

Wednesday

4:00pm – At least one person arrested last evening is still in jail, for two felony charges.

Thursday

Police are now claiming that Harding shot himself in the head. However, they’ve been unable to find the gun that was used. Also, read Bay of Rage’s article on the demo/march from Tuesday, here.

Bayview Shooting Demo: Rage in the Street

17 July 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – A black man in Bayview was shot and killed by police Saturday afternoon, after he ran away for fare evasion of the public transit MUNI. This comes on the heels of the police shooting of Charles Hill at a BART station platform in San Francisco. The police claimed that the intoxicated Hill posed a threat and wielded a knife, while the police are claiming that the Bayview shooting transpired because the passenger was carrying a gun. Read more about the shooting below.

A demonstration has been called for on Tuesday, 5pm, Dolores Park. See more on Indybay.

Police kill in SF Bayview

16 July 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Around 4:45pm today, police shot and killed a MUNI passenger in the Bayview district of San Francisco. The police claim they spotted a gun on the passenger and chased him down; then the passenger drew his gun and shot at the police. The police have provided empty bullet casings they found on the street as evidence, but have yet to recover a weapon, suggesting the passenger either threw it away or the weapon was taken by a passerby. Witnesses, however, claim that the young man had no weapon, but was being chased for fare evasion for the light-rail. One witness said, “It didn’t even make sense what-so-ever, honestly. A young man running, he didn’t even have no gun out at all, with his hands up in the air, and you’re still shooting?” (KTVU). This shooting comes only a few weeks after the killing of Charles Hill at the SF Civic Center BART platform, where police claimed Hill wielded a knife, and where witnesses claimed he had no knife.

A call to protest the shooting has gone out, asking people to meet up at 24th and mission in San Francisco (as of around 9:30pm, Saturday).

UPDATE:

Sunday, July 17

1:30pm: A speak out against the police shooting at Bayview is being attacked by the police. They are pepper spraying demonstrators and they are calling for support and folks with video cameras.

Read the updated article from SF Bay View.

BART Delayed in Response to Another Shooting

12 July 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – On Sunday, July 3rd, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police responded to a call about an intoxicated individual at the Civic Center BART platform. Within moments of arriving, 2 officers approached 45-year-old Charles B. Hill, and shot him three times resulting in his death. While BART and BART Police claim Hill was wielding a knife, other witnesses claim that Hill could have been easily restrained with the use of non-lethal force and that he posed no threat. Police have at least partial footage of the incident but refuse to release it, nor have they proceeded openly with their investigation with the media.

In response to the shooting reminiscent of the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant, a demonstration was called for Monday, July 11th at the Civic Center BART platform. Demonstrators delayed BART trains from leaving the Civic Center station, shutting down the station for both BART and MUNI. Announcements at BART stations and on trains could be heard over the loudspeaker stating that BART trains would not be stopping at Civic Center due to “civil unrest”. Police intervened in the civil disobedience and many of the demonstrators reconnoitered above ground, eventually marching towards the Powell St. station. Meanwhile another group delayed trains at the 16th st. Station. Demonstrators at Powell took the train to 16th and merged together with the 16th st. demonstrators to march down the street towards Powell and Market. They were forced to zig-zag down side streets due to police blocking traffic flow. The march culminated at the Powell and Market intersection, spilling into the tourist-dense Powell st. Cable Car turnabout. The marchers attempted to continue up the street but were beat back by police leading to a stand-off, merging a crowd of demonstrators with hundreds of tourists. The demonstration ended around the scheduled time, after half an hour of milling around chanting, “No justice, no peace, disband the BART police” and distributing information about the murder of Charles Hill.

Read more about the murder of Charles Hill at OaklandforJustice.

Day of Solidarity with UPR Students

9 March 2011

This friday, March 11th, has been announced as a day of solidarity with the student struggle at the University of Puerto Rico.

New York City:

Friday, March 11 · 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Julia de Burgos’s Mosaic
106 St, Spanish Harlem

San Francisco:

Friday, March 11, 4:30-7:00pm
24th/Mission BART Station Plaza in San Francisco

Why March 11th?

March 11, 1971 was one of the bloodiest single days in the history of the University of Puerto Rico. The main campus at Río Piedras was occupied by the Puerto Rico Police, unleashing violent confrontations that ended the lives of two police officers, including the then chief of the notorious Tactical Operations Unit, and one student. (more…)

UC Student Faces Serious Charges Still

28 December 2010

from ThoseWhoUseIt:

Peter Howell, the UC Merced undergrad facing a felony count for the Regents’ meeting, had his arraignment today around 10:45 am.  Brought out in orange scrubs and cuffs, Howell’s lawyer asked that the felony charge be reduced to a misdemeanor given that the prosecution’s case is so weak and that there is video evidence demonstrating that Howell never touched the weapon.  The prosecutor attempted to defend the position that he grabbed Kemper’s baton, but the reasoning was incoherent.  Here’s Howell on the scuffle:

“I put my hands on my chest and backpedaled,” Howell said in the interview. “I was trying to get away. (Officer Kemper) shoved through me, and he may have lost control of his baton. You can hear it rattle on the ground in a video. At no point did I strike him on the head, so I believe that statement was false.”

Regardless, the judge refused to engage the debate, pushing it back to the hearing date, now scheduled for February 22 upon the request of the defense.  The judge denied him release on OR but reduced the bail from $30,000 to $15,000.

Hands off Peter Howell!

Update: Howell’s lawyer, John Hamasaki, is looking for anyone who witnessed the alleged incident on November 17 at UCSF-Mission Bay.  Contact him at john@hamasakilaw.com if you are a witness, or else if you have photos or videos of the alleged incident.

Safety reminder: Please do not offer yourself as a witness if you have uncharged conduct from that day (that may also show up in photos or videos). This is not an assumption that anyone does, just a precaution. Also, please don’t discuss any possible evidence or witness testimony you may have in writing, including comments sections on blogs and over listservs. Due to the recent increase in state/university repression, we should actively consider being very careful with information, in order to care for each other and ourselves.

[Editor: On a related note, 19 students/demonstrators involved in the UC Irvine sit-in in February are facing arraignments tomorrow, Dec. 29th at 8am at the Central Court (700 W Civic Center Dr., Santa Ana, Orange County)*. The charged face several misdemeanors each. More here.]

*correction.